Non-Hispanics need not apply

Do you think Hispanics are discriminated against? Not in Phoenix.
A publicly traded corporation this week agreed to pay almost half a million dollars to end a discrimination suit that started two years ago when federal investigators found Hispanics were routinely hired over job candidates from other ethnic groups.

According to a story published today in Phoenix’ East Valley Tribune, the rejected candidates include 11 Asians, 66 blacks, 17 American Indians, and 370 whites, who were deemed qualified job applicants but were not hired simply because they were not Hispanic.

OK, it’s not that these guys were missing out on a very fancy job. The company in question is the Corrections Corporation of America, the firm running a state prison in Florence, Phoenix, and one of the country’s largest private prison firms. (By the way, the guy featured on the company’s Web site does not look very Latino to me, so there’s something fishy here)

Besides the economic penalty, the suit established the Florence Correctional Center also must undergo a future audit by federal investigators to determine if it has met the federal hiring standards. If the prison has not changed its hiring practices by then, the company could face stiff penalties including fines or termination of its government contracts.

No possibility of jail time was mentioned. Too bad, it would have been a convenient penalty to comply with.

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